No-quit attitude from Kim English in Missouri basketball win against Kansas

Sunday, February 5, 2012 | 6:56 p.m. CST; updated 2:39 p.m. CST, Friday, February 10, 2012
Missouri guard Kim English jumps to receive a long pass during the game against Kansas at Mizzou Arena on Saturday.

COLUMBIA — Kim English knew the Missouri men's basketball team was going to win Saturday night.

Even when the No. 4 Tigers trailed the No. 8 Jayhawks by six points with fewer than four minutes to play, English walked into the team huddle and told his teammates that they were going to win the game. 

The team believed its senior leader, and the Tigers went on an 11-0 run to end the game and beat their rival, 74-71.

"We truly never thought we were going to lose this game," junior guard Michael Dixon said.

English also helped the fans believe. He hit a half-court shot just before the team headed into the locker room on Saturday, reinforcing to fans that anything can happen.

He was one of the players to keep the rambunctious Missouri crowd energized during the game. English raised his arms when he wasn't pleased with the crowd noise. After big plays, he pounded his chest while urging the crowd to stay loud.

The win is just the second against Kansas for English and his fellow 4-year seniors, Marcus Denmon and Steve Moore. The other win came in 2009 at home in a 62-60 thriller in which Zaire Taylor hit a game-winning shot with less than two seconds remaining.

English actually threw up at halftime of Saturday's game.

"I felt better," English said. "I had to go during the game but I held it in. That would have been embarrassing."

He scored eight points in the second half and finished the game with 18.

In addition to his leadership, English has made big plays that don't end up on the stats sheet. He took two charges against Kansas and leads the team with 23 charges taken this season.

Because Missouri plays four guards, the 6-foot-6 English has had the task of covering much bigger players this season. On Saturday, he held Kansas seven-footer Jeff Withey scoreless and to just four rebounds.

"Kim's been remarkable," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "I don't think people understand, he has a tremendous basketball IQ. So, we say things to him and he picks it up just like that. He's been great." 

English and Missouri (21-2, 8-2) have a quick turnaround as they face Oklahoma (13-9, 3-7) at 6 p.m. on Monday in Norman, Okla.

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